Who a Las Vegas Gambler Would Bet on in the 2016 Election

February 21st 2016

Nicole Charky

LAS VEGAS — Joe Dattilio, 71, likes two things: Poker and politics.

"It's like a Super Bowl for me. I'm really into it," he says.

The Las Vegas local digs politics so much that his dealer who introduced us, Francisco, had to ask him to stop talking about it at the table. That's because it's literally illegal to bet on politics in Las Vegas, as ABC reports. There's a federal law that makes betting on any elections — national or local — unlawful in the U.S. That in mind, Dattilio spent a few minutes with ATTN: to talk about who he predicts will win the general election on November 8, 2016. As the results of Nevada's Democratic caucus dubbed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winner over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), here's what Dattilio told me.

Joe Dattilio in Las Vegas

ATTN: How did you first get into poker and gambling?

JD: I've always been interested in watching the World Series of Poker. I guess in the early 2000s, right around when Chris Moneymaker won. He was an amateur, so everybody thought 'Hey, I can do that, too.' So we all started playing poker. It really was a boom after that.

Chris Moneymaker World Series of Poker

ATTN: Do you ever make political bets when you're playing poker?

JD: No. I would, but that hasn't come up.

ATTN: Does it come up a lot in Vegas, do people make political bets?

JD: I don't think so. Here, they really do shut it down. If people get in a little bit of a heated argument over politics the dealer will shut it down and say 'No, we're not going to talk politics.'

ATTN: Why do you think that is?

JD: Because it actually could cause a fight. People are really divided so much, mostly because of the Republicans in the Senate and Congress. Congress especially has pissed so many people off, that they can get heated very quickly when talking about this.

ATTN: What are you expecting in 2016, who do you think will be the next nominees?

JD: I think it will be Hillary on the Democratic side. I'm afraid to say I think it will be Rubio on the Republican side. I think that he, to me, is the most scary one.

ATTN: How so?

JD: First of all, his ethnicity. People who really aren't paying attention, might just vote for him because of his ethnicity, and that scares me a little bit. But people who are paying attention I think would vote for Hillary, although, the Republicans have done a great job of making people think that Hillary is not trustworthy. So I'm a little bit concerned because I'm more than leaning toward the Democrats.

ATTN: And if you were going to put a bet — if you had to — I know you can't, who would you pick?

JD: Hillary.

ATTN: Who do you think other experts would say?

JD: I'm going to defer to Nate Silver. The guy is great. The guy is going to probably tell us who is going to win here in a few months.

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